Which Of The Following Best Describes a Rootkit

A rootkit is a term that refers to a collection of malware. Instead, it’s a slew of distinct malicious applications that take advantage of a security flaw to infiltrate a computer and give hackers persistent remote access to it. Rootkits have the ability to disguise themselves as well as other malware from virus scanners but also security solutions, allowing the user to be completely unaware of their presence. So, which of the following best describes a rootkit? Let’s understand it in this article.

Which Of The Following Best Describes a Rootkit
Which Of The Following Best Describes a Rootkit | Image by Robinraj Premchand from Pixabay

Which of the following best describes a rootkit?

The approach utilised to mask malware processes and hacker activity differs between rootkits. Rootkits in kernel and user mode are the most commonly used. Hackers are constantly improving their dangerous software toolsets, making it harder for users to safeguard themselves.

Types of rootkits:

  • Kernel mode rootkits
  • Application rootkit
  • User mode rootkit
  • Memory rootkit

How do rootkits work?

Although there are many different types of rootkits, they all operate in the same way. The process of breaking into a system follows a similar structure.

The first step is to infect the system

A rootkit infection is frequently the first step in a social engineering attack. Cyber fraudsters take advantage of the weakest link in any security system: the human element. Hackers are frequently able to obtain access data and passwords by manipulating or tricking their victims. They then use them to access a computer or apply a rootkit.

Other methods of rootkit infection include drive-by downloads via an infected site, downloading software from an untrustworthy source, or click on links or document in a phishing email.

Another technique is for a cybercriminal to put a rootkit-infected USB stick lying around with a public spot. An unwitting finder could then take the storage device home, link it to their computer out of interest, and presto, the rootkit is installed. Attacks by so-called wicked maids work in a similar way. In this scenario, the hacker instals the rootkit on an unattended PC.

This method takes its name from a conceivable scenario in which a cleaning lady infects the laptops of a large number of hotel visitors.

Stealth is the second step

The rootkit hides its presence once it has infiltrated a system. It accomplishes this by manipulating data interchange procedures carried out by programmes and system works. An anti-virus application, for example, gets only bogus information throughout a scan, and any indicators of the rootkit are deleted. As a result, even professional anti-virus software’s signatures or heuristics are frequently ineffective in detecting malware.

Constructing a backdoor

The rootkit then develops a “backdoor,” that enables the hacker to get remote access to the system in the future by using an exposed password or shell. The rootkit’s job is then to hide the hacker’s every login as well as any suspicious activities.

This permits the attacker to set up an additional software such as with a keylogger, use spyware to reveal keyboard entries, steal information, or alter system settings (based on the extent of authority). Rootkits are commonly used to group infected machines into botnets which are exploited for phishing and DDoS attacks.

What distinguishes rootkits from other malware?

Rootkits are also known as “stealth viruses” for obvious reasons, despite the fact that they do not fulfil the definition of a virus.

But what distinguishes rootkits from other types of malware?

  • Virus: A virus is a piece of software that attaches it to an executable file or application (and is differentiated by its .exe format). Even though it replicates itself independently, it is unable to expand further without the assistance of individuals or other programmes.
  • Worm: This word refers to a type of computer virus which may spread on its own by exploiting a system’s data transfer capabilities.
  • Trojan horse: It’s not a virus, but malware, which is a malicious programme that masquerades as a useful programme. Trojan horses are used by hackers to build a backdoor in a system.
  • Rootkits: A rootkit is a Trojan horse-like computer programme. Several Trojan horses have rootkit-like properties. The fundamental distinction is that rootkits deliberately hide themselves in a system and usually grant the hacker admin privileges.


Rootkits are a particularly persistent threat that can give attackers complete control of your machine. Recognizing the danger, on the other hand, is the first step in the right path. The most critical precaution, as is typically the case, is to avoid system invasion. Rootkits, even so, are difficult to identify and even more difficult to remove. Reinstalling the operating system is frequently the only choice.

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